Slightly more children diagnosed with dyslexia

The percentage of children who, according to their parents and carers, are suffering from dyslexia has risen slightly since 2001. On average, the number of dyslexic 7 to 11-year-olds has risen from 6 percent in the period 2001-2008 to 8 percent in the period 2009-2015 as Statistics Netherlands’ Health Survey shows. In this survey parents/carers indicate whether their child is dyslexic and has been treated by a GP or medical specialist in the past year.

Perentage of dyslexic 7 to 11-year-olds, 2001-2015

The percentage of children who were treated for dyslexia according to their parents has also grown. On average, 27 percent of dyslexic children were under medical treatment or supervision in the period 2001-2008, but has risen to 43 percent since 2009. Between 2009 and 2014, the number of registered dyslexia treatment programmes has risen from 7 to 32 per 1,000 children aged 7-11 years.

Dyslexia treatment programmes, 7 to 11-year-olds
Dyslexia treatment programmes, 7 to 11-year-olds
 BoysGirls
20090.90.5
20101.91.1
201132
20123.72.6
20133.72.7

Increase share on a par with reimbursement for dyslexic care

The increase in the percentage of dyslexic children under treatment is in line with reimbursement for dyslexia care. In the period 2009-2014 dyslexia diagnosis and treatment were covered by the basic health care insurance, but in the period prior to 2009 this was not the case. Entitlement to compensation was introduced gradually from 2009 onwards. Since 2015 care for dyslexic patients has been covered by the Child and Youth Act. Organisation and treatment of dyslexia are now the responsibility of municipal authorities.

More dyslexic boys than girls

Dyslexia is more common in boys than in girls. On average, 9 percent of 7 to 11-year-old boys versus 6 percent of girls had serious reading and writing problems in the period 2009-2015 according to their parents. Dyslexic boys and girls underwent treatment in approximately 4 out of 10 cases.

More cases of dyslexia in older children

In the period 2009-2015, dyslexia was more common in 11-year-olds than in younger children. Findings based on parents’ reports indicate that 11 percent of 11-year-olds versus 6 percent of 8-year-olds are dyslexic.

Percentage of dyslexic 7 to 11-year-olds, 2009-2015
Percentage of dyslexic 7 to 11-year-olds, 2009-2015
 Series 0
7 yrs2.9
8 yrs6.4
9 yrs9.4
10 yrs8.2
11 yrs11

Fewer cases dyslexia in children with a non-western background

With 9 percent, dyslexia is found more frequently in 7 to 11-year-olds with a native Dutch background than in Dutch children with a western (7 percent) and non-western background (2 percent).

Percentage of dyslexic 7 to 11-year-olds by ethnic background, 2009-2015
Percentage of dyslexic 7 to 11-year-olds by ethnic background, 2009-2015
 Series 0
Native Dutch9.1
Western6.7
Non-western2.1

Dyslexia more often found in combination with other learning and behavioural disorders

Dyslexia is found more often in children who are already suffering from other learning and behavioural disorders. In the period 2009-2015 parents reported Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in 7 percent of cases and autism, Asperger Syndrome or Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) in 6 percent of cases. For the sake of comparison: the figures for all children in the 7-11 age bracket are 1 and 4 percent respectively.